2010 was an amazing year for performances in film. There were incredible performances from tons of actors and actresses, young and old. Going through 2010 I saw many amazing performances and I want to share my favorites. Now this list can include multiple performances in the same film. So lets dive in:
One other thing, there are spoilers for some of these films, if you don’t want to know then don’t click the jump
10. Mark Strong – Kick-Ass – Mark Strong is an actor who is born to play baddies in film, he looks and speaks like a great baddie. Strong had 2 baddie performances in 2010, Kick-Ass and Robin Hood and, if you saw my worst films list, I didn’t like his performance in Robin Hood but Strong really fits the mood of Kick-Ass with the way he presents himself and his actions being suitable for the type of film Kick-Ass is, yes even arranging the torture scene makes sense. I hope to see Strong deliver more baddie performances like this in the near future
9. Nigel Lindsay – Four Lions – Lindsay was suitably nutty as Barry in Four Lions, a white muslim terrorist who eats SIM cards. Lindsay gets to present some great comic timing in this film and gets to show off just how stupid a character can get. But you really like Barry because of how stupid he is and as such you don’t want him to blow himself up, just so you can see what Barry is like in the real world. This was very difficult to pull of and Lindsay nails it
8. Robert Downey Jr – Iron Man 2 – There is just a certain charm to be found in Robert Downey Jr’s performance. The way that he is so likable and you want to be around him, despite how dangerous he is. The role of Tony Stark really certified Downey as a great action star and it holds true here. You can clearly see that Downey Jr is having fun in this role and that level of fun passes through to the audience and this makes this performance incredible.
7. Nicolas Cage – Kick-Ass – This is a great performance, it is cheesy, campy and bloody awesome. This really feels like the missing Batman performance and Cage really channels Adam West in his performance of Big Daddy and this really comes through with his voice and his lines, especially the line “Hit Girl, to headquarters” that line could really be followed by the 1960’s Batman theme, the way Cage presents his action scenes was incredible and the action scene in the warehouse was brilliant. This really made Cage stand out in Kick-Ass
6. Tom Hardy – Inception – I’m going to say this right now, Tom Hardy should be the next James Bond. In Inception, Tom Hardy showed just the right level of cockiness and charm to make a great Bond. His banter with Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the best dialogue in the movie and is so funny. This is an actor who we should really watch out for in the future, he is even set to play Mad Max in Mad Max 4, he is going places
5. Kieran Culkin – Scott Pilgrim vs The World – This is probably the first film i’ve seen in which a gay character is just perceived to be normal and not treated any differently because he is gay. This really relies on the performance of Culkin to make you like Wallace Wells and Culkin pulls it off. This also works because Wallace is the straight man in Scott Pilgrim always giving advice on how to treat certain problems and teaches Scott how to overcome his problems with Ramona and the way Culkin presents these scenes makes it on of the performances of 2010
4. Morgan Freeman – Invictus – Invictus did come out in 2010 in the UK so it does count. This is a role in which Morgan Freeman is perfectly cast, he looks like Nelson Mandela, he sounds like Nelson Mandela and he was actually chosen to play Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela and as such Freeman is incredible as Nelson Mandela. The way Freeman uses his hands and posture to present himself really certifies the mood that Freeman wants to present as Mandela and as such Morgan Freeman is incredible and he really deserved the Oscar nomination he received.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio – Inception – DiCaprio really presented some haunted depth to the character of Cobb in Inception, when Mal kills herself you can really see the anguish in his face and when he subsequently sees Mal he sort of looks like he is on the verge of tears over what happened and if this aspect of Cobb didn’t work then the whole character of Cobb wouldn’t have worked. DiCaprio nails this aspect of Cobb and as such makes Cobb a really compelling character who is not motivated just to make money but to see his children again. The way DiCaprio presents himself in the scene where he is talking with his children on the phone is incredible and DiCaprio really sells the film. Hears hoping DiCaprio has more performances like this in the future
2. Justin Timberlake – The Social Network – This is something I’d never thought I would put but Timberlake is incredible as Sean Parker in The Social Network. He really pulls of the cocky charm that is needed in order for his character to seduce Zuckerberg into ditching Eduardo but the very last scene with Timberlake in the film is the best scene in the film. Look at my top 10 best scenes of the year in order to see where I am coming from with this
1. Chloe Grace Moretz – Kick- Ass – This is the only performance by an actress in this list and has come in at number 1. Simply, Chloe Grace Moretz is stunning in the film. The way that she acts around Nicolas Cage is incredible and they have a real chemistry on screen together and as such this makes the scene where Big Daddy dies even more heartbreaking due to the performance of Moretz. Plus her actions scenes in the film steal the show, as I said in my top 10 scenes of the year. This aspect of Hit Girl wouldn’t have worked if there wasn’t a good actress playing the role and Moretz nails these action scenes. Plus the fact that she did most of her own stunts makes this performance even more incredible. In fact, I’m going to say this right now, based on her performance in Kick-Ass and the projects that she has coming up in the future, Chloe Grace Moretz is the best actress working in the film industry today, the level of maturity she has shown with her role choices, mainly Hick and Hugo Cabret, makes her stand out from other actresses and I say that there will be some Oscars with her name on in the near future.
Well come back soon for my last list of the Best of 2010, my top 10 favorite movies from 2010.